Teen asked for ride to get cigarettes before being killed, report says

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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TWIGGS COUNTY, Ga. - A police report revealed that an Alpharetta teen asked for a ride to get cigarettes and then disappeared.

Police later found the body of Elijah Smith, 16, near Macon.

An incident report said Smith met the people who police say ultimately killed him at an extended stay hotel and asked for a ride to get some cigarettes.

One suspect told police there was an argument and Smith got kicked out of the car, but police believe the pair killed Smith and then dumped his body.

"It's terrifying," said Lisa Hutcheson who lives and works near hotel. Hutcheson said she was saddened to learn about Smith's killing.

"(My) prayers go out to the family," Hutcheson told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.

Police say the teen's mother reported him missing on Tuesday. Family and neighbors passed out flyers in an attempt to locate the teen, but had no luck.


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"Our detectives worked through the night and eventually were able to develop a tip. Unfortunately, that tip led us to a body located in a rural, wooded area," said Officer Jason Muenzer, with the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.

Muenzer said investigators found the teen's body off Interstate 16 in Twiggs County near Macon. He said evidence led them to charge Derian Bonaventura-Flores and Hali Karlan with murder.

A police report obtained by Petchenik said the pair gave Smith a ride to get cigarettes and they began arguing.

"Hali told police Derian was jealous and began feeling threatened by Elijah, that he was drunk and was unpleasant,” the report said.

Karlan told investigators that Bonventura-Flores was so upset with Smith, he made him get out of the car at a stoplight.

"Somehow they got into a dispute, which led to Elijah being shot and killed," Muenzer said.

Petchenik went to Karlan's Roswell neighborhood Monday but nobody answered the door at her home.

Waffle House confirms Smith worked at an Alpharetta location for about a month, but everybody inside was too upset to speak about him on Monday.

"Alpharetta's a well-to-do town. Anything can happen anywhere," Hutcheson said.

Bonaventura-Flores is in the Polk County Jail on unrelated charges. Karlan is being held in the Fulton County Jail without bond.